“God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands.”Psalms 63:1-4
Have you ever been thirsty? I mean really, really thirsty-work outside in the summer, tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth, bone-dry thirsty? This is the word picture presented in verse 1 of this Psalm-and remember, in David’s day, a good drink, particuarly if you were out in a desert region, was much further and harder to find than a water cooler or coke dispenser away! Water often had to be sought for, dug for or hiked long distances for. David was seeking to know God, the way a truely thirsty person sought water-there was urgency in the search!
David had learned to quench his spiritusl thirst for God through worship because the word picture of verse 2 is of a worshipper gazing at the pillowing smoke of the tangible, visible Presence of God billowing out of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle where the Hebrews worshipped in David’s day!
Vs 3 is one if my personal favorites in the whole Bible: “because Your love is better than life, my lips shall praise You” (kjv). David had discovered that his love for God and that his relationship with God was more satisfying than any human relationship- better than marraige, better than a best friend, better than a buddy or aquantence-better than life, itself! Because of that love, wrote David, “my lips shall praise You” or “glorify You”
“So I will praise You as long as I live”, continued David. David’s commitment to God, praise and worship of God and loyalty to God was far more than casual! It was not reserved for Sunday or Wednesday night or for only when times were good. David loved God and was committed to worshipping, following and pursueing God, no matter what!
In verse 4 we read, “I will lift up my hands in Your name”. Lifting your hands in worship to God is an outward expression of an inward adoration! Its also an international sign of surrender. When I lift my hands to God in worship, I’m saying to God that I worship You with all of my heart, soul and physical being and I’m totally surrendered to Your will and purpose for my life!
Today, being close to the beginning of a new year, would be a great time to examine the intensity of my personal relationship with God! Do I pursue Him like a thirsty person looks for water? Do I worship Him daily, not just casually at church or camp, once in a while? Do I prioritize His love as one of my most valuable assets?
This chapter of Psalms, particuarlly the first 4, have been a “life verse” for me personally. They are verses to live by, but being older, I learned them in the King James translation of the Bible and they “roll off the tongue” better in New KJV traslation, so this is my prayer:
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
Think about it!